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What is a bootable USB drive?
To some extent, a bootable USB drive is like an installation disc, which contains all the necessary boot files and can be used to boot your computer and troubleshoot in the event of a disaster. You just need to enter BIOS and change boot priority for it.
Today, on many computers, only the USB interface is reserved, not the optical drive. Thus, bootable device, such as, USB bootable drive, becomes more and more popular. In addition, many users still use it to store files due to its small size and low price.
You can’t just copy and paste files
USB drives mostly are used to store and transfer personal data in old days, thus many users still use the previous way, that is, Copy and Paste, to transfer files from one USB drive to another.
It’s useful if you just want to copy personal files and folders to another USB drive. Assuming that the USB drive contains bootable partition, including its master boot record (MBR), slack space, and any unused space, simply dragging and dropping files to a new flash drive cannot work.
In a word, you can’t just copy and paste files if the USB is a bootable drive. You need to clone bootable USB in Windows 11/10/8/7.
Need to clone USB bootable drive
Cloning bootable USB is accepted as a way to back it up, so you can use it to install Windows or repair your computer even the first bootable USB drive is broken or likewise.
Another reason is for security. With lots of times of plug-in and plug-out, your computer may be infected by viruses on your computer, or it’s corrupted or damaged for a certain reason.
In addition, the disk space may be insufficient and you want to upgrade USB drive with larger ones.
What else can USB bootable drive do? You can use it to deploy the same bootable device to other computers for repair or sharing via cloning bootable USB drive to another USB drive.
How to clone bootable USB drive in Windows 10 step by step
It's a pity that Windows does not come along with clone feature. Luckily, AOMEI Backupper Professional offers you the fastest and easiest way to clone bootable USB disk in Windows 10, that is, the "Disk Clone" feature.
- It allows you to clone bootable USB drive to another USB drive, hard drive, or SSD. All the partitions including boot drive and data drive on the USB stick will be cloned to the target disk in several clicks.
- It has more than sector by sector clone method, and its intelligent clone feature can skip bad sectors and ensure successful cloning if the USB drive damages a little. Also, it allows you to clone bootable USB drive to smaller drive by cloning only the used sectors.
- It allows you to adjust partition size of the destination disk using "Edit Partitions" and accelerate the reading and writing speed of SSD disk via "SSD Alignment".
- If your computer is not bootable, you can choose to clone hard drive from bootable USB as well.
Now, let's get started to clone bootable USB stick with AOMEI Backupper.
1. Boot up your computer normally, and plug in the bootable USB drive as well as the target disk to your PC. Make sure both of them can be detected by Windows.
2. Click the download button below to download, install and launch AOMEI Backupper. Select Clone and click Disk Clone.
3. Select the bootable USB flash drive here.
4. Then select the destination disk that you want to clone bootable USB drive to. It can be another USB drive or HDD/SSD.
5. Configure more clone options based on your need.
👉 Click Edit Partitions to adjust partition size or convert disk type of the target disk.
- Copy without resizing partitions: It will not change the partition size.
- Add unused space to all partitions: It will reallocate the unallocated space to each partition of the target disk, appropriate for the disk size.
- Manually adjust partition size: It allows you to extend unallocated space to any partition on the destination disk as you want.
- Convert the destination disk from MBR (GPT) to GPT (MBR): It helps to convert the partition style of the destination disk if it is different from that of the source disk.
👉 For SSD disk, check SSD Alignment to get peak performance.
👉 If you want to clone every bit of the USB drive, check Sector by sector clone. This will make the "Edit Partitions" option unavailable.
6. Confirm the cloning settings and click Start Clone to copy USB bootable drive.
Within a few moves, you are able to clone USB bootable drive in Windows 10 with "Disk Clone" feature in AOMEI Backupper. Above method also applies to Windows 11/8.1/8/7/XP/Vista since AOMEI Backupper Professional supports all these operating systems.
In fact, this cloning software is also great USB automatic backup software. It provides incremental backup and differential backup with daily, weekly, and monthly mode. As backup solution, it supports backing up Windows system to USB drive without encountering “The drive is not a valid backup location” warning.
In brief, AOMEI Backupper Professional is a great software you deserve. Download and enjoy your new journey. If you are using server-based computer, you can consider AOMEI Backupper Server.